Thursday, 21 September 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From don't give up on print to the real steps the digital giants can take to combat fake news, hate speech and propaganda

Newspaper and magazine designer Mario Garcia on his blog: "Don’t give up on print, simply place it where it belongs: not as protagonist but as a strong secondary player. Don’t come to work in the newsroom each day anticipating the death of print, because chances are that you will die first."

David Higgerson on his blog: "Digital is not replacing all of the money being lost in print. But it does contribute many many millions, and publishers which focus on driving audiences, and understanding those audiences, will be the ones who secure more revenue now and in the future...Regularly, the strong online audience performances regional publishers report are mocked by commenters on sites such as Holdthefrontpage and Press Gazette. But those publishers are in a far better place in terms of revenue – and therefore cash to support journalism – than if they persisted with early 2000s strategies of trying to strangle digital presence to force readers into print. For all we want to believe it, there is no evidence anywhere that investment in newspapers, or holding back digital, drives up revenue or newspaper sales."

Minister for Digital Matt Hancock in a speech at the UK Internet Governance Forum: "The impact of the digital disruption is far reaching. Our world beating music industry has, over a long and painful time, discovered in streaming a new business model that appears to be sustainable and bearing fruit. Yet the news media, and the high quality journalism that provides such a vital public service, has yet to find such a sustainable business model, and we must work together to get there."

Woman in Journalism in a new report revealing male bylines still dominate national press front pages: "At Women in Journalism, we believe that democracy can only flourish when the mirror the media holds up to society provides a true reflection; we argue today that because of the lack of diversity in British newspapers the lens we hold up to society is a distorted one. Society sees itself not as it is, but through the prism of a predominantly old, white, male gaze. This puts half the population at a disadvantage – and, at its worst, can put women off entering public life."

Robert Shrimsley ‏on Twitter: "So Boris resorting to the classic 'I don't write the headlines' defence. Well fair play to him, I don't suppose he painted the bus either."

Sydney Ember in the New York Times: "The potential sale of Rolling Stone — on the eve of its 50th anniversary, no less — underscores how inhospitable the media landscape has become as print advertising and circulation have dried up."

Polly Toynbee in the Guardian"Mounting abuse of the BBC could in the end destroy it: it only survives on the trust and affection of most citizens. Those on the left joining in the attack, dismissing the BBC as part of an “MSM” plot, fuel the right’s aim to dismantle and privatise it."

David Aaronovitch in The Times [£]: "A lot of the stories on sites like The Canary and Skwawkbox are “isn’t life crap under the Tories” offerings, frequently picking up mainstream media items. You also get the occasional straightforward conspiracy theory. But one of the biggest attractions is calling out the BBC for being rigged against the left. That always gets attention, for in the demonology of these sites the BBC or The Times are in on the plot. Never mind the Daily Mail, the Laura Kuenssbergs of this world are the true villains. If you want a revolution and you don’t want too many awkward questions asked about it, you don’t just ignore what you call the conventional media. You try to destroy its reputation. In fact you must make your battle against it one of the centrepieces of your struggle."

Birmingham Mail NUJ chapel statement on plans to cut 10 more editorial jobs: "Our editor Marc Reeves likes to refer to the Birmingham Mail as a ‘house that’s on fire’. There is no doubt he has poured petrol on that house this week...This operation has been run on the fumes of goodwill for too long. That goodwill has been extinguished. In light of this the Chapel has taken a vote of no confidence in the editor or the vague proposals being made. If compulsory redundancies are threatened by management on Monday, we will immediately ballot for industrial action over these forced job losses, low staffing levels and high workloads."

Christopher Williams in the Sunday Telegraph: "The owner of the Evening Standard has made an approach to buy the Metro newspaper from the publisher of the Daily Mail, as media barons jockey for position in an industry merger melee. Evgeny Lebedev, the 37-year-old owner of the London freesheet edited by former chancellor George Osborne, is understood to be keen to add the Metro to his stable to drive cost savings and expansion outside the capital. Industry sources said Mr Lebedev aimed to use the Metro’s nationwide distribution network to launch regional versions of the Evening Standard."

Financial Times reports: "Lord Rothermere, the chairman of Daily Mail and General Trust, has told staff at the UK media group that it is 'not actively considering any change to the ownership' of its free daily title Metro."

Financial Times editor Lionel Barber, in a lecture on fake news to Oxford Alumni Festival: "So what is to be done about the fake news phenomenon and the collateral damage to quality journalism? First, the dominant technology sites must recognise they need to take more responsibility for the content which appears on their sites, not just fake news but also hate speech and extremist propaganda. Second, they must drop the pretence that they are simply platforms and channels for publishers’ rather than media companies themselves. They have fast become the main source of news for significant portions of society. The reality is that they are influencing or even deciding via algorithms what information is consumed."


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